“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” —Ether 12:6
And what are the blessings that have come after the trial of our faith?
In our extremity, we have come to know the tender mercies of the the Lord, how His blessings appear at the right moment, in a miraculous way, in spite of how scary things look on the outside.
For example, how could a prolonged illness or injury possibly be a blessing? Well, as you might guess, I have to talk to a lot of people on a regular basis who have chronic illness or who have been injured, and now, more than ever, I really understand how they feel. And I also know what it’s like to be on both sides of the hospital gown.
So, one blessing is the understanding and compassion that come from experiencing similar trials yourself. A ward member can’t say, “Oh, bishop, you have no idea what I am going through.” I have been both the caregiver (in the case of my wife and also my mother) and the basket case. And now, feeling better than I have felt in several years, I have an appreciation for good health that makes me feel grateful every day that I can walk and function normally. I even feel good enough to be working out regularly again. It’s the contrast between the two that give me the greatest joy.
Another example: How could monetary misery be a blessing? Again, I find that I can counsel people much more effectively in their financial trials after we have been “totally up against it” ourselves. When I explain to others how we have faced job and income pressures ourselves, it makes it much easier to consider the counsel as it is no longer merely an academic exercise on my part. We found ourselves flat on our backs, and now we have found our way to a much better situation.
I now have the best, most fulfilling, most rewarding job I have ever had in my life, and I thank God for it every day. I am grateful beyond measure for my work, and I can hardly wait to get to the office each day.
What makes trials worthwhile—and necessary—is what you learn by going through them, the most important being the real gratitude and sincere appreciation for how good you’ve got it, both during the trial and after.